Why Is Degaussing Needed?
Confidentiality & Risks of Data Leakage
For end-of-life data storage medium, a proper data erasure action is important before their disposal. Random disposal or insufficient data erasure may severely harm information confidentiality of organizations and companies and raise risks of data leakage.
Nowadays stories of high profile cases containing exposure of sensitive data are heard frequently. Improper data disclosure may result in different risks:
Personal information goes to identity thefts
Disclosure of business secrets to dumpster divers
Time, effort and costs spent on explanation to customers
Loss in consumer confidence
Embarrassment in public
Fine and penalty for violation of regulations
Disclosure of national & military secrets
Negative impact on environment
To protect information security, data must be completely destroyed before IT assets are disposed of or recycled. Corporations are obliged by law to ensure the security of sensitive information, otherwise they will face penalties or punishment for non-compliance.
Effect of Degaussing
According to NIST Guidelines for Media Sanitization, degaussing is exposing the magnetic media to a strong magnetic field in order to disrupt the recorded magnetic domains. It is an effective data purging method to protect the confidentiality of information against a laboratory attack, which would succeed on storages sanitized by normal clearing method.
A degaussing process performed by a qualified degausser will accomplish a complete and permanent data deletion, which means the data stored in the magnetic device cannot be recovered any more. What’s more, some degaussed medium cannot be used again (such as hard drive and LTO).
Special Benefit of Degaussing
NIST Guidelines for Media Sanitization has pointed out several special benefits of degaussing as a data erasure method:
1. It is useful for sanitizing damaged media, which cannot be erased by overwriting.
2. It is effective in purging large capacity medium. Data wiping on those storages can be very time consuming, however, degaussing process only takes less than 1 second and will destroy all data permanently.
3. It is very effective in quick purging diskettes.
Thus, if the storage you are planning to dispose of is magnetic technology based, and it cannot be overwritten in a reasonable time length, degaussing would be an effective choice for secure data erasure.
A Professional Service
The experienced DataExpert team offers professional degaussing services according to customers’ special needs to help them properly handle the retirement of their IT assets.
Guided by Regulatory Compliance
DataExpert helps companies ensure regulatory compliance by correctly performing a degaussing process on their retiring IT assets.
The standards / regulations include:
NIST Guidelines for Media Sanitization
NISPOM (National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual)
Hong Kong OGCIO IT Security Guidelines
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations
HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
FACTA (The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003)
GLB (Gramm-Leach Bliley)
High Performance Degausser
The degaussing equipment that we apply in our service is standard compliant high performance degausser series DEA-MD15X/25X/30X with different chamber volumes. Each model can generate a strong enough magnetic field that surpasses 10,000Oe for degaussing to achieve customers’ objective of completely destroying data.
The model DEA-MD30X has the largest chamber volume, which not only enables us to increase service speed by degaussing several units of storages at one time, but also allows us to degauss server HDDs with mounts and whole laptops for customers without the need of disassembling them.
The method and field strength utilized in our degausser series are able to completely erase digital data on all functional or non-functional magnetic medium, including high capacity & perpendicular hard drives.
What’s more, our degausser models have passed a magnetic force microscope testing in Tohoku University in Japan. The tested media and test result is as below:
Test Unit: 2.5” Hitachi PMR HDD
Model Number: HGST-HTS545050B9A300
Estimated Coercivity: 7,000 Oe
(The result showed that the tested hard drive was totally demagnetized)
In order to enhance the verification of a completely finished degaussing, we can place a magnetic checker card into the magnetic field chamber together with the target media, and after degaussing process is done, we will check the card and it should have below changes:
Besides, we can also verify degaussing by a magnetic marker pen. All we need to do is to apply a small amount of colloid ink on the pen tip onto the observed area of the media, and then the magnetic recording pattern (magnetic or non-magnetic) will appear.
Auditing & Report
All models and their degaussing tasks are managed by a supporting software, which issues reports of auditing for degaussing projects. Thus, we can provide customers with standardized and recognizable reports for their filing and compliance purposes.
For regulatory compliance and organization management purpose, also as an evidence of secure data destruction, we provide a certificate of “Disposal by Degaussing Service” for each of our customer.
What Types of Storages Can Be Degaussed?
Degaussing method is effective for magnetic media only, such as hard drive, floppy, magnetic tape, etc. For non-magnetic storages, we suggest customers use physical destruction methods, such as our secure data destruction services.